MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The Bowl Championship Series stripped USC of its 2004 national championship Monday, marking the first time since polls began in college football or basketball, a national championship has been vacated, according to USAToday.com.
The Trojans won the 2004 national championship here in Miami in the 2005 Orange Bowl. USC wiped the turf at Sun Life Stadium with Oklahoma, 55-19, to win the national championship. But, it was Reggie Bush who ultimately cost the Trojans the title.
The NCAA declared Bush ineligible after the collegiate governing body found that Bush had received thousands of dollars of payments during his playing days at USC.
The BCS had been waiting for USC’s appeals of major sanctions to be heard before making a decision, according to USAToday.com. Last month, the NCAA denied USC’s appeal and Monday the BCS acted.
While the BCS awards the national champion in the coaches’ poll, the Associated Press will not change USC’s designation as the national champion. USC athletic director Pat Haden said the school will still call it a national championship season, according to USAToday.com.
But if you remove Bush from the Trojans that season, there’s a strong likelihood they never reach the BCS title game. One needs to look no further than the team’s 50-42 victory over Fresno State.
Bush went for more than 500 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. Without him, there’s a strong likelihood the Trojans lose that game.